Thursday, 30 May 2013

Christian leadership and the willingness to employ lethal force for the sake of what is right


From Alastair Roberts:

It isn’t much reflected upon, precisely because it is so scandalous to contemporary sensibilities, but among the chief common traits of the great leaders of the people of God in Scripture is their peculiar willingness to employ lethal force for the sake of what was right: 

Moses, Joshua, the judges, Samuel, David, Elijah and Elisha, Jesus’s closest disciples: James, John, and Peter, Paul, etc. The Levites and people like Phinehas were even especially set apart for divine service through radical acts of violent ‘zeal’.

Far from being the most empathetic persons that were looked to for moral guidance and leadership, it was the least naturally empathetic who were established by God at the head of his people.

Kevin Dutton has commented on the way that the traits that are most associated with ‘psychopaths’ are perhaps especially pronounced among many leading saints: ruthlessness, charm, focus, mental toughness, fearlessness, mindfulness, and action.

It is the nerve to resist the powerful pull of feelings upon our moral judgment and will that best equips us to be self-disciplined and to lead others.


Alastair Roberts really knows his stuff when it comes to the Bible, and has thought long and deeply about what he knows. So, please, let's not hear any more uninformed stuff about Christianity being intrinsically pacifist, nice, submissive!